How Social Media Affect Retail Businesses?

posted by Hare Krishna Dash  |  

Social media sites play a major role nowadays in forming public opinions. It is, therefore, no wonder that sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as various blog websites and other online communication channels have become so much widespread in today’s times. While each of these new social media channels may take on different forms, the prospect of getting in touch with customers in real time has appealed to all kinds of business houses, including retail business owners and their customers. Here is a brief look at how social media channels open up a number of opportunities for retail business owners.

Effective marketing

Social media channels one of the most effective methods of marketing for large, medium and small-sized retail businesses. While traditional marketing methods can help retail companies to reach out only to a handful number of companies at a given time, social media channels make it possible for retail shop owners to get in touch with hundreds and thousands of prospective customers at any given time. Moreover, marketing and promotions are tools that always require a lot of money. Targeted communications, strategically used promotional offers, surveys and customer feedback, and product sales announcements are marketing strategies that require a lot of investment to get them right. Before social media, advertising was done with printed ads and different types of collateral materials, buying lists, paying postage, asking a research firm to carry out studies on consumer trends and behavior patterns and sending press releases over the news, fax or mail. However, the advent of social media made business promotions much more cost effective than ever before.

Understanding customer trends

In order to make the most of any advertisement and promotional campaign, it is necessary to invest in carrying out surveys and research campaigns to understand the needs of the target customers. By analyzing customer behavior in the social media, it is possible to understand what they are looking for. This valuable information can then be used to come up with products and services that are more to the liking of the target customers. Social media can also be used to communicate directly with business customers, resolve any queries that they may have and even ask customers to sign up for email marketing campaigns. All of these can be further used to engage the customers and develop a loyal fan following that may become handy in the future.

Branding

Every retail business owner wants to establish itself as a major brand on its own and social media offers excellent ways to do just that. Prior to the advent of social media, customers mostly regarded business firms to be non-living or impersonal entities. With the advent of social media, business firms became unique personalities on their own, with distinct logos and market images. This made it possible for companies to either associate or disassociate strongly with one brand or the other. This makes it possible for the customers to develop strong associations with retail stores that have great potential.

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